Recon and infantry Marines only have been zooming around in the Corps’ Polaris MRZR all-terrain tactical vehicles for a couple years now, but the Marines already are on the hunt for a replacement.
According to a request for information posted by the Corps on Friday, the Marines want a new ultralight tactical vehicle with characteristics strikingly familiar to the MRZR.
The Corps wants a highly mobile all-terrain light tactical vehicle capable of whisking wounded Marines off the battlefield, easily configurable to support a host of missions like electronic warfare, and internally transportable by CH-53 and MV-22.
The Corps already has this capability in the Polaris MRZR. The Marines already have doled out nearly 248 of the all-terrain vehicles to infantry and recon Marines over the past couple years.
The first batch of MRZRs were issued to the grunts in early 2017.
But the life expectancy of the MRZR, or utility task vehicle, is only five years: “Therefore the Marine Corps is initiating research efforts to see what industry will have available that may meet the Corps' needs,” Manny Pacheco, a spokesman for PEO Land Systems, told Marine Corps Times in an emailed statement.
The Corps has been innovative with its tactical dune buggy, even mounting a counter drone system on a pair of MRZRs.
That system, known as the light Marine air defense integrated system, or LMADIS, uses electronic warfare to take down drones.
An LMADIS system is currently deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
The current MRZR fielded by the Corps is capable of hauling nearly 1,500 pounds of supplies, which alleviates some of the burden carried by infantry Marines.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.